I think the majority of my readers know I adore firefighters and smokejumpers. For those who don’t know – I have an entire suspense series based on the amazing team of smokejumpers from Missoula, Montana. Might want to check them out. The book releasing Friday – and the name hasn’t been decided just yet – is all about a hot headed firefighter. He’s dominating. He craves danger. He’s passionate.
And he knows there is a killer amongst his rank.
Add that together with the feisty female fire investigator forced into the ranks and well, sparks fly. Here’s a taste of the new one and a bonus snippet from my latest dark mafia romance as well.
“God damn mother fucker.”
The words came easily out of my mouth. I absolutely hated politicians, the blowhards who thought they knew better than the rest of us. Meanwhile, we all realized they were just fighting to make up for their Vienna sausage-sized dicks. Today was no exception and neither was the man preening in front of the cameras.
Who am I? A firefighter serving Charlotte, North Carolina. My reputation? Playboy hothead. Okay, not the best character reputation you want, but one I’d carved out for myself, maybe on purpose. I wasn’t much into rules, especially when it involved work. The members of my crew all craved danger, junkies for the adrenaline rush. I pretty much treated my concept of relationships the same way. I certainly wasn’t the commitment type. Yeah, I was snickering at the thought.
“This is bullshit.” The cry was full of outrage, drawing my attention to the oversized community room we all spent a hell of a lot of time in.
“This is politics for ya.”
“Lying sack of shit. The man’s never even set foot in any of the firehouses in this city. I don’t know who the hell he thinks he is. Dude from Jersey thinkin’ he can come here and take over Charlotte. Well, fuck him.”
I eyed the group of men standing around the small television set, their eyes focused on the press conference, nasty barbs flying right and left. Honestly, I couldn’t care less about the announcement itself, but everyone else in the joint was fixated on the mayor’s choice for the brand spanking new fire investigator. The rumor mill had been flying for a solid two weeks that his selection was someone outside the industry, which was not only unheard of but considered blasphemy to the men and women who risked their lives every day.
“Aren’t you the least bit curious, Blaise?” Jake Hanson was my best friend, had been since I moved here from Texas over three years before. We were both lieutenants of Ladder Company 19, the captain relying on us for keeping the motley group on their toes in his absence. Well, that and for making trouble. I was the bad boy of the group with a nose for fires, especially arson, hence the use of my middle name. No one called me Brendon Tompkins unless I was in serious trouble. That seemed to happen on a frequent basis.
“You guys look like you’re doing just fine.” I reared back in the chair, placing my feet on the table, an action that pissed off the females of the group. Funny how the men didn’t give a shit. I could still hear the blaring sound from where I was sitting. David, Wally, and Kyle were shooting their middle fingers, as if the pompous mayor could see their contemptuous action. Thank God I had tomorrow off to regroup and catch up on some sleep. We were all antsy, exhausted. It had been a particularly grueling week, a shitstorm of fires, one right after the other. I had no doubt at least two were arson. We’d been experiencing a hell of a lot of that lately. Maybe a fire investigator worth his shit was in order.
Okay, so the thought was sexist; however, I just knew the industry as well as this city. The job was hard core and given the horrific spikes in catastrophic blazes, whoever was appointed would be digging their way through muck—both in and out of the dirt. In my opinion, women deserved to be treated better, like queens, even when they were required to submit. My cock ached, visions of a luscious and very naked young woman draped over my lap the culprit.
I allowed my mind to daydream, trying to dull out the rants. My last girlfriend had been back in Texas, a sweet little filly with a mouth that could shoot you down, then suck you right up, taking every drop of cum. Mmm… She’d refused to move across the country. Couldn’t say I blamed her. North Carolina certainly wasn’t like back home. I’d grown weary of the playboy lifestyle as well as being alone.
I thought about two nights before, my cock twitching at the mere thought. I’d never done anything so reckless in my life as to fuck a stranger, but damn if the experience hadn’t been hot as shit. I didn’t even know her name.
Then again, we all needed some R & R, myself included. Maybe I could convince Jake to grab a beer tonight, or even hunt down the sexy gal. If only I knew anything about the stunning and vivacious woman. Another wicked shift under the sheets could do a body good.
“Charlotte is a wonderful city, full of the finest people. We live and thrive because of our amazing emergency systems. However, there have been some serious accusations placed against our fire departments because of the increased reports of arson, among other things.” The mayor’s tone was gruff, almost angry, as if he had a bone to pick.
“What the fuck?” Wally snapped.
“He’s such an asshole,” Kyle added.
I’d butted heads with the politics in this town more than once, fueling my reputation. If you asked me, and nobody was, I knew there were some bad seeds perched in high positions. Taking them down wasn’t my job, but I’d certainly relish in the aftermath.
“What we need is a fire investigator who refuses to kowtow to anyone. We need strength of mind as well as a tenacious spirit. We need a bulldog. I am happy to announce that I’ve appointed the perfect candidate.” The mayor had that look of unveiling a surprise. I had a bad feeling it was going to bite everyone in the ass.
I halfway stood, able to see Mayor Zane pumping his fist like he’d just promised to rid the entire country of warfare. Rolling my eyes, I was about to walk closer when the alarm sounded. “Fuck. Me.” Another damn fire. I’d just gotten the soot from under my nails from the last one. “All right, boys and girls, get your shit together.”
As I raced to grab my gear, I noticed Captain Waters on a heated conversation over the phone. Whatever he was attending to, the man was pissed. This kind of thing had occurred more than once this week as well. We were all batting zero on the tolerance level.
I heard the call out, the dispatcher repeating the location. Another horrific house fire. Jesus Christ. As we scrambled onto the engine, the captain the last man, Kyle started roaring out of the driveway.
“You all right, Cap’n?” I couldn’t help but ask. His pinched face and pursed mouth were unusual for the man. He had almost forty years on the job and had seen everything. Lately, he just seemed exhausted, as if he had no joy in working fires any longer.
Captain Waters snorted as he fumbled to fasten his jacket. “Yeah. Dandy. Next few weeks are going to be hell.”
I knew better than to ask anything else. Fully dressed, I hung out the open door, searching the horizon. We were literally four blocks away from the address. Didn’t take long until I could see the flames shooting a solid twenty feet into the air. The closer we came, the more my gut kicked in. I had a weird sixth sense about fires, had since I was a kid. This was one of the reasons I’d defied my father, becoming a firefighter instead of following in his footsteps and taking over the family ranch. The transfer to Charlotte had been on a whim, a new location, more possibilities for advancement.
And I’d never regretted a day. “Hurry up, Kyle. The house is at least fifty percent engulfed.”
“Almost there,” he shot back.
The second the engine rolled to a stop, I was off the platform, scanning the scene. The area was combined use, commercial and residential and at this time of afternoon, the streets were teeming with activity.
“Damn hot fire,” Jake hissed.
“Where the hell are the cops?” I demanded to no one in particular. We needed some serious crowd control.
“Take it easy, Lieutenant,” the captain stated. “I’ll get everyone back until the police arrive. Assess the situation.”
“My baby’s inside!” The woman’s scream was laced with complete panic. She raced toward Jake, almost knocking him off his feet.
“It’s all right. Tell me who’s inside,” Jake asked, trying to keep calm.
“She’s only three. I couldn’t get her out.” The woman was almost incoherent.
“Where is she located? Tell me where,” Jake encouraged.
Sobbing, she had to be shaken before she reacted. “Back bedroom by the porch.”
I snapped my head in the direction of her finger. There was smoke but no active flames, although the fire was rolling through the timber box style construction. We had no time to waste. “That’s it. I’m going in. Watch my back, Hanson.” The ax in my hand, I shoved down my mask and raced toward the side of the building.
“Jesus Christ! Wait for backup!” the captain called.
“I got him. You three come in from the front. You guys on the side. Let’s get this rolling,” Jake commanded.
I heard the sound of sirens coming from every direction and knew two things instinctively. One, Jake would have my back, fighting alongside me and two, this little girl had minutes to live. She was not dying under my watch. I made it to the back door. Smoke was rolling from under, embers popping along every surface. The door was cool to the touch but locked. I didn’t bother with the ax, simply giving it a hard kick, standing back until I was able to ascertain the location of the flames. A blanket of thick, acrid smoke rolled over me the second I walked inside. Blue-hued flames licked up from the walls, threatening to swim over the ceiling. I was forced to yank out my flashlight, tossing the beam into the center of the building. Couldn’t see shit.
A rush of water flowed behind me, the sizzling sound like sweet music.
“You’re late,” I called to Jake, then threw out my hand silencing him. The cry was muffled but distinct enough. “She’s over here.”
“Be careful,” Jake commanded, swinging the hose back and forth.
Everything was black as night, but the walls and ceilings had already started to crumble, raining debris all around and over us. A snapping crack was followed by a whooshing sound as the fire leapt to the ceiling over us.
“Fuck!” Jake huffed.
What do you think? Imagine the man embroiled in wicked passion.
A TASTE OF…
I am an assassin. I was born into the profession. There was no choice given, no question of what I preferred to do when I was growing up. I am royalty. I am privileged. And I am my father’s son, expected to follow in his path as well as that of others, dominant men ruling the world with an iron fist. The consortium holds the most powerful countries in the palm of their hand, their plan to eradicate respected leaders and those who stand in their way on track. I am merely one son, one heir to a throne consumed by evil, an indentured servant to the Dark Haven. I am also the darkness, a hunted man. What no one knows is that I am lost, a weakness I can’t afford.
One day, I will find her. The one who will pull me into the light.
The words had haunted him for years, leaving the kind of sadness that could be career-ending. But not on this night.
Wrath had never felt so exhilarated in his life, although the fact he’d not only interfered with what had to be a shakedown but decided to take matters into his own hands could place his life in danger. He had an assignment to finish and instead, he had a naked girl on his lap, her provocative and stunning body more powerful to him than the five hundred thousand dollar prize he was expecting. As he wound his fingers around her silky strands of hair, leaning dangerously close to her voluptuous mouth, he counted all the reasons this was ridiculous.
The mark could get away.
His cover could be blown.
He could be arrested and spend the rest of his miserable life languishing in prison.
He could be eliminated by one of the eight men who comprised the Dark Haven for simple betrayal.
Right now, he didn’t care about any of them. He wanted her. He was determined to dominate her.
Ashley took several deep breaths, her eyes darting back and forth across his.
“We’re not finished yet, sweetheart. We’re just getting started.” He crushed his mouth over hers, inhaling the sweet essence of her feminine wiles as well as her expensive perfume. Everything about this woman was exotic, forbidden, and the fruit was too ripe and lush for him to resist.
Their chemistry was off the chain, electricity shooting through both of them.
He swept his tongue inside, tasting her, devouring her mouth. Even as she struggled, pressing her palm against his chest, he knew she craved much more. Everything about her body language screamed utter desire, the kind that would set the world on fire. He was more alive than he’d ever been, his cock screaming for relief.
She moaned into the kiss, undulating in his lap to the point he could no longer focus or think of anything outside of taking her. The barbarian in him had risen to the surface, threatening to take over what little humanity he had left. She should be his enemy.
Instead, she was the ultimate prize.
He gathered her into his arms as he stood, moving slowly toward the bed. He might regret his actions in the morning, but for tonight, she belonged to him. As he eased her down, the passionate embrace continued, their tongues thrashing together, her moans turning into purrs as she clung to him.
Breaking the kiss, he nipped her lower lip, growling in a savage manner. There was no need for discussion, only their respective carnal needs that required fulfilling. He licked around her mouth then down to her neck, darting his tongue in swirling motions as she tilted her head toward the bed. Inching further down, he licked around her nipple then peppered her skin with kisses as he returned to her neck, issuing a guttural sound. As he unfastened the buttons on his shirt with a single hand, he whispered into her ear, just to make certain she was well aware the deal had yet to be finished.
“You’re mine, all mine, sweetheart. Take a deep breath because the beast is about to claim you.” Easing back, he gazed down at her, the electricity shooting through him igniting embers embedded in every muscle and cell. He was well aware she’d lied about her name, but at this point, who the hell cared? She would never learn his real name either. This wasn’t about romance, simply raw and unadulterated sex.
Ashley eased onto her hands, lifting and spreading her legs wide open as she lifted a single eyebrow. Her gaze full of amusement, she gave him a heated once-over. “I’m not your sweetheart. And what makes you think I’ll comply that easily?” She blew him a kiss as she tossed her head from side to side.
Wrath tossed his shirt before kicking off his shoes then tapping his finger against his belt. “Because you’re a born and bred submissive, just waiting for the right man to come along and claim you. Plus, it’s obvious you have a penchant for danger.” Chuckling, he could see the wheels of her mind turning, trying to find the correct retort.
“I do adore a dangerous man, but I usually prefer kicking his ass.”
Such a little minx. He allowed his French accent to flow in a soft-spoken, seductive manner. All the years of education and intense training had given him options, including the use of eight different languages. French seemed to suit her. He was more than curious to garner a look into her small purse but had the distinct feeling that she was hiding everything about her identity. Maybe she was really just a high dollar card shark, employed by some rich socialite who craved the thrill of risk.
Funny how his instinct told him otherwise.
Ashley wasn’t the kind of woman who followed orders, at least in her profession. The rest was a matter of allowing the fragrant blossom to open naturally. Maybe they would even meet again. His blood pressure increased at the thought.
He gave her a commanding look, enjoying the slight blush and the flicker of her stunning long lashes. “Besides, you still have another round of punishment owed. I suggest you be a good little girl.”
In a flash she was off the bed, pressing her palms against his naked chest and pushing with just enough pressure he was forced to take a step backwards. “A good girl, huh? You obviously have no idea who I am. I’m very good at being very bad.”
Fisting her hair, he used enough pressure she hissed. “While I might not know everything about you yet, I can see right through to your soul, all the sinful little cravings that keep you awake at night.” He swatted her on the ass twice before giving her a daring look.
“Don’t tempt me to show you who’s boss,” she purred, her fingers digging into his chest. “I could hurt you badly.”
“Oh, really? Give it your best shot.” The challenge was almost too tasty.
You know how I adore my mafia pieces! I hope you enjoyed.
Kisses and spanks